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Preview: podcasting



Social Speech Podcast, Episode 6: Mitch Joel

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 00:17:57 +0000

Mitch Joel has a lot to share with the world - including some brilliant insights and expertise on marketing, communications and community - so it's now wonder he's found so many ways to do it. He has a long-standing blog, a podcast that just passed the 300-episode milestone, a book... and a well-deserved reputation as one of the best keynote speakers around.

In our conversation, Mitch talks about what matters the most to him about social media and speaking, and the sheer miracle of being able to press "publish" on a blog post and share your knowledge with the world. "These are such early days, and we haven't spent the time to appreciate the tremendous canvas we have in the palm of our hands," he says.


Some links from our conversation:

The image on the right is a doodle I did a year or two ago.

Media Files:

BBC: podcasting still around, and it's bigger than Twitter

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 23:17:47 +0000

Podcasting, as any social media guru worth her or his robes knows, is dead. Like so many social technologies, it failed to jump the adoption gap, break the hype cycle or clear the Great Hurdle of At-First-Raving-and-then-Dismissive Punditry.

Except that the common wisdom - that podcasts are the 3-1/2" floppy disk of the 2000s - has been lost on one group of people: listeners.

According to a BBC story from the summer,


[P]odcasting has continued to grow and grow.

More than eight million adults in the UK - around 16% of the adult population - have downloaded a podcast, with almost half listening to one at least once a week. This figure is echoed in the US.

As a comparison, this is still a greater percentage of people than use Twitter.

And while many of those podcasts are just repurposed content from broadcasters and other big media voices, they're creating a channel that the rest of us can use as well, whether it's as individuals or organizations.

The lesson? (One that I have to constantly remind myself of?) Don't dismiss a platform just because it isn't on the front pages, or being talked up by the hottest social media voices. It may well be the humble, unsung hero of your next foray into social media.


Northern Voice: Tod Maffin on making your podcast awesome

Sat, 08 May 2010 23:45:38 +0000

It's Tod Maffin on podcasting... which is to say, solid gold advice.


Rob's Northern Voice keynote now available online

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 02:59:16 +0000

Video genius Bruce Sharpe has just posted the video of my keynote from Feb. 21 at the Northern Voice blogging conference in Vancouver. It's my look at what makes the world of social media so damn funny. You'll laugh, you'll cry... and maybe you'll comment on it.

Graphic by Nancy White

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Bruce has a great post about how he captured and edited this beast together; it's a lot more complex than I'd appreciated at the time, and the audio in particular gave him some real headaches - so it's astonishing (and a tribute to his skill) that the final result is so polished.

One of the really cool things about the video is something called Profuzion, a plugin for Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing software. It allowed Bruce to synchronize video from several difference cameras, including cell phone cameras, with a single click.

That gets my attention because it opens up some intriguing collaboration possibilities. For example, you could get all the parents who are videotaping a school play to send you their footage, and easily sync up the footage and switch from camera angle to camera angle, closeup to wide to medium. Or crowdsource the video coverage of a public rally. You can probably think of even cooler applications.

Profuzion bears watching - and so does Bruce. (Podcasters will already know him as the guy behind The Levelator, a one-click utility that quickly and automatically adjusts the sound levels in a podcast.) Check out his blog, 25 Hour Day.

(And for a little more technical prestidigitation, check out how Alex managed to reverse the flow of time in this Twitter stream of comments from the keynote. As someone who was present, I can attest that it involved an Excel spreadsheet, NASA and three pints of salamander blood. I can also attest that that's a lot of salamanders.)

Media Files:

Podcast: Online tools and gadgets that keep you current at work and at home

Thu, 21 Feb 2008 18:43:23 +0000

Break out the propeller beanies: it's a gear-heavy episode this time. It starts with Rob talking about the swishy new voice recorder that will soon be replacing the combination of a 4th-generation iPod and Griffin iTalk. That'll mean much nicer sound... and the end of that hard-drive-spinning-up whine that we're guessing you won't miss at all.

But Alex quickly sees Rob's bet and raises him an iPhone.... specifically, her quest this evening for a task manager she can carry around on her new favourite-toy-EVVVer. We touch on Central Desktop, the solution of choice for organizing Barack Obama volunteers on Super Tuesday (hat tip to the excellent TechPresident site).

We tweak the folks at 37Signals' Highrise CRM application for lifting Alex's likeness for their web tour (or as she's now known in these parts, Suzanna Cavatrio, copywriter for Enormicon).

And we issue three demands from Apple: the long-awaited software development kit for genuine third-party apps on the iPhone; the official arrival of the iPhone in Canada (maybe we can blame Ted Rogers for the holdup); and an Apple Store in Vancouver.

Oh, and there's one last thing: the Fake Steve Jobs turtleneck.

Enjoy. We'd love to hear from you - just leave your comments below.

Media Files:

What's a podcast?

Sun, 18 Feb 2007 14:41:26 +0000

A podcast is a series of downloadable audio files that you can subscribe to on your computer. Your computer regularly checks an online text file – called the podcast's feed – that lists any new episodes along with their download locations. Then the software downloads the new episodes and tees them up for you to listen to... on your computer, on an MP3 player such as an iPod (which is where the word "podcast" comes from), or however you like.

By far the most popular software for subscribing to podcasts is Apple's iTunes, although there are many other choices. (Here are some of them.)

One of the reasons podcasting has gathered so much attention is that it's a lot like radio, ... but unlike radio, it can be produced very cheaply. Nearly anyone with a microphone, a computer and an Internet connection can create a podcast, and there is a wide range of free and low-cost software available for producing them. Free services abound as well for uploading and hosting podcasts.

The same way blogging opened online text publishing to the masses, podcasting has turned audio publishing into a grassroots activity. More recently, podcasting has expanded to include video content as well in what are sometimes called vlogs, video blogs, video podcasts or vidcasts.

You can find out more at the podcasting resource library at Net2Learn. You can also check out the Wikipedia entry or the O'Reilly book Podcasting Hacks (a few years old, but still very good). 

CBC dips the whole foot in the podcasting waters

Thu, 04 May 2006 19:50:31 +0000

Okay, so it isn't the revolution. But it's a big step forward for the CBC as Radio One unleashes a whole bunch of new podcasts on an unsuspecting public.

Every day will bring a new edition of a particular podcast:

  • Monday - The Best of Ideas
  • Tuesday - Dispatches
  • Wednesday - The Best of Outfront
  • Thursday - The Best of The Current
  • Friday - The Best of As It Happens
  • Saturday - Quirks & Quarks
  • Sunday - The Best of DNTO

That enough for you? Wait, don't answer – there's more, updated with varying frequency:

  • CBC Radio 3
  • Sounds Like Canada: The Digital Extra
  • CBC Radio Editor's Choice
  • Words at Large
  • Word of the Week

Still got some room on that iPod? There's also a weekly roundup of stories from every region of Canada.

The upshot is a dramatic multiplication of the CBC's podcast offerings, with a promise of more to come. This has to be pretty gratifying for the broadcaster's in-house tech visionary and podcast evangelist, Tod Maffin, who's done a lot to make this happen. Online communities around each podcast would be a natural next step, but this is terrific progress.